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Question Number: 32710

Law 11 - Offside 9/15/2018

RE: Rec Adult

Phil Prata of Burlington, ON Canada asks...

Player in offside position when through ball played, defenders appeal for offside, the striker receives the ball and linesman flag goes up, defenders again appeal for offside, the ref calls out 'OK thanks' nothing else. The striker stops as do the defenders, the goal keeper comes out and taps the ball towards where the offside was for the free kick. The striker intercepts and kicks the ball into the goal. All of this happens within 2-3 seconds.

What's the right call?

A similar situation. Player is fouled losing balance but retaining possession, it looks likely he can recover but instead he scoops up the ball in his hands. Again this happens within 2 seconds.

What's the right call?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Phil,
Based on your description alone, in the first incident it does rather sound as if the offside should have been given. However, as we said in answer to a recent question, the referee does have the right to overrule an AR's offside flag if they judge that to be the correct course of action. We have also pointed out in the past that players should play to the referee's whistle and not the AR's flag.

What I would also say however, is that if a referee is going to overrule in this way, saying 'OK, thanks' would not be the best way to handle it.

I'm not sure the second incident is all that similar - there is no AR's flag and no communication from the referee, for instance. The call here could go either way, depending on the referee's view of it. If the player was truly and obviously fouled, the referee has not indicated that the advantage should be played and the player, despite looking likely to recover, has not really done so I suspect that many, if not most referees would go with the foul.

A referee who decided that the player has had an advantage but squandered it and is therefore guilty of deliberately handing the ball might not be technically incorrect but such a decision would probably be seen as harsh at best.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Phil,
No defender should EVER stop playing for a raised flag. ONLY the whistle stops play. I will say this. IF the AR flags as a CR I would NEVER say ANYTHING except blow the whistle to stop play. I expect my ARs to have a better look at it then I MOST of the time. On the FEW exceptions I see my AR raise a flag & I am 100% fully aware the flag is incorrect I will wave him off. In doing so I will wave my arm and hand in a flat up downward pumping motion indicating I see it but I disagree, please drop the flag immediately. Although I generally do not say anything except eye contact, smile, thumbs up, nod of the head. I have patted myself like a touch & pointed at a defender to indicate ball came off him not a deflection

I used to say PLAY ON but realized that sounded as if I was playing advantage when in fact I am simply allowing play to continue uninterrupted as in my opinion there was no offside call to be made. I have said things like,' NO whistle play' or 'Defender played it! ' " I got this!" or "My decision "might be said! but have been advised best not to say anything given PLAY THE WHISTLE is in every pregame talk I ever give!

IF in fact the CR was not with the AR flag as being correct based on the simple fact the CR DID not blow the whistle I see live play a legal if stupid goal.
It the CR was in agreement with the AR then no goal INDFK out. The AR once a goal is scored would stay at the position wanting to confirm with the CR he thought there was offside The CR might claim the ball was last played by a defender the AR missed . If the AR was satisfied there was no offside the goal is good he runs back to the kick off position
If the defenders are upset if a goal was given the CR should explain to the captain did you hear a whistle???
If the attackers are upset a goal was not given simply say my AR was correct!

I dislike attackers grabbing for a ball THINKING right or wrong they were fouled, if YOU DO NOT HEAR A WHISTLE, KEEP PLAYING! Although I do take a wait & see approach on advantage tight in around the goal it is why I like to say & signal advantage quickly as it helps the fouled player to know I did see it but think he could play through it. I only add the PLAY ON! AFTER I see that there IS a true advantage better than awarding the foul. Yet if the foul is egregious and the downed player grapples with the ball likely super emotional over the foul itself I blow the whistle and discontinue the advantage rather than claim he gave it up voluntarily. I agree it must occur very quickly.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
The old adage of play to the whistle applies.
In the first instance was there offside? Did the referee see the offside flag? Did he motion the flag down after deciding that there was no offside. Did the AR bring his flag to the referees attention after the goal?Did the referee assume that the tap / kick by the goalkeeper put the ball in play?
On the face of it looks like the decision should have been an IDFK for offside. However ultimately it is the referees decision to make and if he allowed play to continue for whatever reason then that is the call.
Have a look at this video
The White goalkeeper for some reason believes that there is an offence either offside or handling? It could not have been a foul on Red. Not sure what he was thinking yet he throws the ball down assuming that play was stopped by the referee. It was not stopped so the referee allowed play to continue and awarded the goal.
On the second incident the decision rests on whether the player was fouled or not. By picking up the ball there is no possible advantage so play is stopped for the foul. If there was no foul then the player is penalised for deliberate handling or if advantage is played and realised then a player cannot pick the ball up either. Generally in these instances once there is a foul the referee will call it and picking the ball up just stops play with no potential for advantage. I think over many years I have had one call where a player went down, decided he was fouled and grabbed the ball which I penalised as deliberate handling as there was no foul on the player.

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Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

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